GRTU urges Government authorities to meet stakeholders and agree on an effective solution to the Sliema Traffic Management Problem Resulting from the Pedestrianisation of Bisazza Street, which GRTU Considers as irreversible.
GRTU regrets that the issue concerning the further development of Sliema, which has been on the cards and under discussion between the different Government authorities and GRTU, as the national representatives of retailers, for a considerable number of days, is somehow being perceived by MIDI as some conflict between this Sliema area retailers and the exceptional investment done by Midi at Tigne.
GRTU never looked at this issue in this way. On the contrary GRTU has been up front encouraging further planned and structured investment in the whole of the Sliema area. The Traffic management issue has been ongoing also for years and the GRTU regrets that while a substantial number of discussions have been transparent and done with the presence of GRTU, or directly with GRTU members through the Sliema Business Association who have followed diligently on a day to day basis the works program, not all discussions were transparent and not all decisions have been related to Sliema retailers.
The result is a confusion, which people who ought to know better and ought to have managed better are now trying to blame this and that for an issue that has now been dumped on the public, retailers and consumers alike. The perception is persistently being given that the public is being used as a pawn in the bargaining that is going on behind closed doors with the clear aim of loading more expense on Government.
GRTU prefers to see more expense as long as it is sustainable but insists that this expense of public funds goes for improvements and embellishment for the benefit of both the community investing in commercial and other services in the Sliema community and to the benefit of consumers, on whose support the whole project depends.
GRTU urges Government authorities to move this issue as soon as possible back to the negotiation table with the involvement of all stakeholders as public litigation on this issue is not exactly the best way to achieve effective and early results. GRTU has expressed its point clearly: Bisazza Street is now a pedestrianised Zone. It has now received the approval of the Public and of Government from the Prime Minister down and the issue really is how to implement and execute in an efficient manner the impact on traffic management of the decision taken.
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